Toy cars take center stage in this imaginative iPhone app.
Freeverse's SlotZ Racer for iPhone brings back childhood memories of slot car racing, right down to braking around corners to avoid flying off the track. It's fun, easy to play and features decent 3-D graphics that pull you into the action. Some glaring omissions, however, keep its designers from achieving excellence.
Although it lacks the crazy loops and ramps that you'll find in the actual toy sets, SlotZ Racer's developers did admirable work recreating the joys of connecting and then experimenting with different tracks. Just like the real deal, you'll hold down the power button and watch the little toy cars speed through straight-aways and wind around hairpin turns; removing your finger from the accelerator automatically brakes the car. Up to four cars (human or computer controlled) fit on the tracks, and you can enjoy a single race (exhibition), championship (winning unlocks new trophies, cars and tracks) and a multiplayer mode using a single iPhone; each player presses a corner of the screen.
In addition, a cool track editor allows you to make your own creations. While novel, we needed to spend a lot of time with this thing to get over the learning curve; not even this instructional video helped us. Just keep that in mind amidst all of the reviews praising it for being user friendly.
Overall, SlotZ Racer is a neat video game that'll keep you entertained for a couple of hours. Its numerous championships and unlocked content will give you plenty to do, while decent music and pixilated but attractive graphics round out the respectable presentation.
At the same time, we can't help but complain about missed opportunities. At $.99, SlotzRacer was a steal and well worth the cash, but at $2.99, its lack of features make it less attractive. Using a single iPhone to play multiplayer means huddling around a tiny screen (a clear violation of our personal space), and the lack of an online leaderboard means we cannot upload our best times.
On top of that, the game's difficulty drives us bonkers because the mistake free computer never falls off the track. Meanwhile, one screw up on our end means restarting the race.
SlotZ Racer is a neat game that shows what the iPhone's capable of. No online content as well as punishing difficulty kept us from awarding it a higher score, but if you dig this type of racing and want to mess around with the editor, you'll enjoy its plethora of cars, tracks and other goodies.
What's Hot: Slot car racing comes to iPhone, handy track editor, four-person multiplayer mode, lots of championships to win and cars/tracks to unlock.
What's Not: Computer-controlled cars never go off the track, no online play or leaderboard to compare best times, track editor takes patience to master, costs $2.99.